"Maybe you weren't ready for that ... but your kids are going to love it."
- Marty McFly, Back to the Future, Part I
I've been enjoying all of the Back to the Future references this month. Kudos to whoever came up with the idea first because it's been a lot of fun. Michael J. Fox has a special place in my heart because he's from my city, and there's even a few buildings around here with his name on it. Little known fact: did you know I have a poster of a young MJF circa 1987, urging kids to read? I think it was part of a series the American Library Association put out back then. The public library I was working at was throwing it out finally in 2007 because they had newer, shinier posters, so they let me take it. It now adorns one corner of my office, and it kind of broke my heart on Friday when two techs came by to install a new scanner and one of them said, "Who's Marty McFly?" Sigh.
So, before anything can happen to tinker with our timeline, I'd better announce another March Madness winner:
Now, back to the regularly scheduled madness. ^__^
One of the other awesome actors I had the fortune to see at Emerald City Comicon was none other than Christopher Lloyd, a.k.a. Doc Brown. He was fun to listen to. Before he began the Q&A, he mentioned something that neither me nor my husband knew: that before Michael J. Fox was chosen to play the role of Marty McFly, a significant chunk of the film was shot with a completely different actor.
Whoa. Really? That's a huge change to make for a major motion picture that far into production. But it looks like the decision paid off, because can you imagine the movies any other way?
Okay, so think about that. Have you ever made such a significant change to a writing project that you hadn't expected you'd ever make? Perhaps something that was there from the start that you'd started to ignore in revisions because it was so ingrained into the fibre of your work? Or have you began a project with one premise driving the story only to realize that no, the story needs to go somewhere else, and this thing you started with needs the boot?
One that really sticks out for me, one for the list of amusing tales later on in my writing career, is the fact that I started out writing the manuscript I'm sending to agents soon in an unsuitable POV: First-person present tense. To the point where writing in present tense came naturally to me, felt natural, and felt right. *shudders* I've learned my lesson now. This is not to say that it might work for others (case in point: Hunger Games) but it definitely wasn't meant to be for me. Turns out my characters function much better in the past tense. Realizing that mistake and fixing it was vital, because it helped me rediscover my real voice, not the voice I'd been adopting for all that time.
It was an eye-opener, but I feel so much better for it, and even more confident about my voice. Even though I basically did the equivalent with POV as was done with the actor for Marty McFly.
Marty: "Doc... what if we don't succeed?"
Doc Brown: "We must succeed."
And we will.
That's my two cents madness for the week. How about you? Thanks for checking in here, folks! Now don't forget to stop by Shari's blog tomorrow.